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Superman

National Portrait Gallery

Superman Thermos

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
This plastic thermos bottle was manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1978 and has a red plastic, screw-on cup lid and a beige plastic, screw-on stopper with a brown and white plastic pouring spout. The bottle features colorful action scenes from the movie version of Superman all exterior surfaces. Matches Superman lunch box object #2001.3087.26.01.

Superman #110, “The Defeat of Superman”

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Superman issue no. 110 was published by DC Comics in January of 1957. The cover art by Al Plastino features Superman battling a giant ant. The 36 page issue sold for 10 cents and featured the stories, “The Secret of the Superman Trophy,” The Mystery Superman!” and “The Defeat of Superman.” Superman first appeared in the June 1938 Action Comics No. 1, before the Superman title launched in May of 1939 and continued until 1986 when it was renamed Adventures of Superman.

Superman #180, “The Girl Who Was Mightier Than Superman”

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Superman No. 180 was published by DC Comics in October of 1965. The cover art by Curt Swan and George Klein depicts Superman being swung around by his arm by a woman named Orella. The 36 page issue sold for 12 cents and contained two stories written by Leo Dorfman, “Clark Kent’s Great Superman Hunt,” and the cover story—“The Girl Who Was Mightier Than Superman!” Superman first appeared in the June 1938 Action Comics No. 1, before the Superman title launched in May of 1939 and continued until 1986 when it was renamed Adventures of Superman.

Superman Lunch Box

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
This tin lunch box was manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1978. Released on the heels of the 1978 Superman movie, this lunch box shows the Daily Planets newsroom on the back, featuring images of Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Perry White, and Jimmy Olsen. The other side shows an image of Superman flying high above Metropolis in all his costumed glory.

Superman, “The Girl Cops of Metropolis”

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Superman issue no. 108 was published by DC Comics in September of 1956. The cover art by Al Plastino depicts Clark Kent trapped in a jail cell with three female cops wanting to test their suspicions that Clark Kent is Superman. The 36 page issue sold for 10 cents and featured the stories “The Brain from the Future,” “Perry White, Jr., Demon Reporter,” and the title story “The Girl Cops of Metropolis!” Superman first appeared in the June 1938 Action Comics No. 1, before the Superman title launched in May of 1939 and continued until 1986 when it was renamed Adventures of Superman.

Superman #184 “Demon Under the Red Sun”

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Superman issue number 184 was published by DC Comics in February of 1966. The cover art by Curt Swan and George Klein depicts Superman tied to a pole surrounded by the people of Zhongar holding Death-Glow talismans. Fearing he is a demon, and sapped by his powers due to the red sun, Superman must prove himself to the people of the alien planet. The 36 page issue sold for 12 cents and contained two stories, “The Demon Under the Red Sun” and part two of “The Test of the Talisman.” Superman first appeared in the June 1938 Action Comics No. 1, before the Superman title launched in May of 1939 and continued until 1986 when it was renamed Adventures of Superman.

39c Superman single

National Postal Museum
unused

Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #106 “I Am Curious (Black)”

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane number 106 was published by DC Comics in November of 1970. The cover features art by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson that depicts the white Lois Lane stepping into Superman’s Plastimold machine and stepping out as a black woman. The 36 page issue sold for 15 cents and features the Lois Lane story “I am Curious (Black)!” and the Rose and Thorn story “Where Do You Plant a Thorn?” The issue explored race relations in Metropolis as Lois transform into a black woman to write a story about “Little Africa.” Her new skin color changes society’s perception of her, and she realizes the struggle of everyday life as a minority.

Duncan Magic Motion Superman Yo-Yo

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
This plastic yo-yo was manufactured by the Duncan Toys Company in the 1980s. It is plastic with clear sides. Under one side there is a "magic motion" holographic portrait of DC Comics character Clark Kent wearing glasses, which when tilted, turns into an image of his alter-ego Superman. The yo-yo's other side features a red and yellow Superman “S" on a blue background.

39c Cover of Superman single

National Postal Museum
unused

32c Superman Arrives single

National Postal Museum
32-cent mint single

Issued September 10, 1998

sound recording: More Than You Know; Superman

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Benny Goodman and his Orchestra. side 1: MORE THAN YOU KNOW; side 2: SUPERMAN (Columbia 55002)

78 rpm

Superman [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Johnson, Fridolf, "Rockwell Kent: An Anthology of his Works," New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982, pg. 125.

World's Finest Comics No. 5

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics issue No. 5 in the spring of 1942. Fred Ray illustrated the cover that depicts a movie theater with silhouetted heads viewing the projected image of Superman, Batman, and Robin saluting as three airplanes fly overhead. This issue’s stories feature Superman in "The Tower of Terror," Zatara in "The Man who Stole a Bank," The Crimson Avenger in "Murder in Three Acts," TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite in "The Case of the Crime Clown," Red, White and Blue in "Wings of America," The Sandman in "Gems of Jeopardy," The King in "Rubies for Ransom," Lando in "The Adventure of the Good-Hearted Gangster," and Batman and Robin in "Crime Takes A Holiday." Originally titled World’s Best Comics in its inaugural issue, DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics from 1941 until 1986. Each issue originally featured separate stories for Batman and Superman, but from issue 71 until issue 197 they appeared together in the same story. Over the years a cavalcade of DC heroes appeared in the book, including Robin, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and the Vigilante.

World's Finest Comics No. 7

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics issue No. 7 in the fall of 1942. Jack Burnley illustrated the yellow cover that depicts Superman, Robin, and Batman each straddling the barrel of a battleship’s cannon. This issue’s stories feature Superman in "The Eight Doomed Men!," Zatara in "The Case of the Walking Dynamo!," Drafty in "Bring in Baby," The Sandman and Sandy in "A Modern Arabian Nightmare," The Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy in "The Case of the Jinxed Skyscraper," Red, White and Blue in "The Phantom Voice," The Green Arrow in "Wings of Flame," Lando in "The Vanishing V-Men!," and Batman and Robin in "The North Pole Crimes!" Originally titled World’s Best Comics in its inaugural issue, DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics from 1941 until 1986. Each issue originally featured separate stories for Batman and Superman, but from issue 71 until issue 197 they appeared together in the same story. Over the years a cavalcade of DC heroes appeared in the book, including Robin, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and the Vigilante.

World's Finest Comics No. 6

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics issue No. 6 in the summer of 1942. Fred Ray illustrated the red white and blue cover that depicts Superman with his arm around a sailor, and Robin shaking the hand of a soldier. World War II era comics frequently promoted supporting the war effort and contained stories of comic book heroes aiding American soldiers and defeating the Axis enemies. This issue’s stories featured Superman in "Man of Steel Versus Man of Metal," Zatara in "Mystery of the Cat's Eye Spell," Drafty in "The Adventure of the Hungry Lion," The Sandman in "The Adventure of the Magic Forest," The Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy in "The Adventure of the King of Escape," Red, White and Blue in "The Case of the Little Fuehrer," Aquaman in "The Zoo of the Deep," Lando, Man of Magic in "The Black Gold Touch," and Batman and Robin in "The Secret of Bruce Wayne!" Originally titled World’s Best Comics in its inaugural issue, DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics from 1941 until 1986. Each issue originally featured separate stories for Batman and Superman, but from issue 71 until issue 197 they appeared together in the same story. Over the years a cavalcade of DC heroes appeared in the book, including Robin, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and the Vigilante.

World's Finest Comics No.8

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics issue No.8 in the winter of 1942-1943. Jack Burnley illustrated the cover that depicts Superman, Robin, and Batman in a booth under the sign “Sink the Japanazis with Bonds Stamps” selling bonds to children. World War II era comics frequently promoted supporting the war effort and contained stories of comic book heroes aiding American soldiers and defeating the Axis enemies. This issue’s stories featured Superman in "Talent Unlimited," Drafty in "Tanks for the Memory!," Zatara in "The Magic Lantern," The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy in "Stripesy, Solo Sleuth Inc.!," The Boy Commandos in "The Luck of the Lepparts," The Green Arrow in "The Unluckiest Man In The World!," The King in "A Double For Trouble," and Batman and Robin in "Brothers In Law!" Originally titled World’s Best Comics in its inaugural issue, DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics from 1941 until 1986. Each issue originally featured separate stories for Batman and Superman, but from issue 71 until issue 197 they appeared together in the same story. Over the years a cavalcade of DC heroes appeared in the book, including Robin, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and the Vigilante.

World's Finest Comics No.9

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics issue No.8 in the spring of 1943. Jack Burnley illustrated the yellow cover that depicts Superman, Batman, and Robin throwing baseballs at a banner with the faces of Axis leaders Hitler, Mussolini and Hideki Tojo that says "Knock out the Axis with Bonds & Stamps." World War II era comics frequently promoted supporting the war effort and contained stories of comic book heroes aiding American soldiers and defeating the Axis enemies. This issue’s stories featured Superman in "One Second to Live!," Drafty in "Khaki and Korn," Zatara in "The Man Who Could Make It Rain," The Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy in "Turn Back the Clock," The Boy Commandos in "The Battle of the Big Top," Martin of the Marines in "Keep 'em Fighting," The Green Arrow in "Death Is the Prize" and Batman and Robin in "Crime of the Month." Originally titled World’s Best Comics in its inaugural issue, DC Comics published World’s Finest Comics from 1941 until 1986. Each issue originally featured separate stories for Batman and Superman, but from issue 71 until issue 197 they appeared together in the same story. Over the years a cavalcade of DC heroes appeared in the book, including Robin, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and the Vigilante.

Comic Book, "Action Comics"

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
This is an "Action Comics" Comic Book featuring Superman.

Superman’s June 1938 appearance in Action Comics No. 1 gave birth to the superhero genre. Superman used his extraordinary powers to fight for “truth and justice.” The character’s popularity led to the creation of other costumed crime fighters such as Batman and Captain Marvel.

Superman Turns 73

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Kids go bonkers for Superman suit

Smithsonian Affiliates
The signature blue, red and yellow suit worn by mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent wore as Superman is at the Ohio History Center, the headquarters of Ohio History Connection, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, thanks to a loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The suit, worn by actor George Reeves in the 1950s […]

Superman vs. the Arctic Giant

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